Which ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Cast Members Are Still Alive?
So many TV shows hit screens regularly that it’s inevitable only a select few will stand the test of time. ABC’s Happy Days was one such show in the 1970s, leading to no fewer than seven spinoffs. The most successful of those offshoots was Laverne & Shirley. Decades later, which Laverne & Shirley cast members are still alive? Let’s dig into this classic sitcom and its gifted cast.
The comedy aired on ABC from 1976 to 1983
Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams first played Laverne Marie DeFazio and Shirley Wilhelmina Feeney on Happy Days, where the characters were acquaintances of Fonzie (Henry Winkler). But in 1976, the two actors got the chance to lead their own series. Laverne & Shirley went on to air for eight seasons. During the first half of its run, the comedy was among the most-watched TV shows.
As often happened at the time, the sitcom’s popularity led Marshall and Williams to struggle with breaking into movies. But Marshall eventually became a lauded film director, helming movies such as Big and A League of Their Own. Meanwhile, Williams remained a mainstay on television, appearing in countless TV movies and series well into the 2010s.
Which ‘Laverne & Shirley’ cast members are still alive in 2022?
Sadly, Penny Marshall died on Dec. 17, 2018, of complications from cardiovascular disease and diabetes, TMZ reported. She was 75.
However, Cindy Williams is still alive. She’s one of only two main Laverne & Shirley cast members who remain. Michael McKean, who played Laverne and Shirley’s quirky neighbor Leonard “Lenny” Kosnowski, is also still alive.
David Lander was McKean’s most frequent scene partner as best friend and roommate Andrew “Squiggy” Squiggman. Lander, who was also a Goodwill ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, died from MS complications on Dec. 4, 2020, at age 73.
Eddie Mekka — who portrayed Shirley’s intermittent love interest, Carmine Ragusa — died on Nov. 27, 2021, at 69. No cause of death was given.
What are ‘Laverne & Shirley’ cast members Cindy Williams and Michael McKean doing now?
Although most of the Laverne & Shirley cast is sadly no longer with us, Cindy Williams and Michael McKean are keeping the show and the memory of their former co-stars alive.
Williams hasn’t done much acting in the past few years. But the now-75-year-old actor remained active in film and TV until the 2010s, with a résumé that includes guest spots on shows such as Touched by an Angel, 7th Heaven, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Meanwhile, Michael McKean has been everywhere in movies and TV since Laverne & Shirley ended. Film-wise, the popular character actor is best known for his work in comedies such as This Is Spinal Tap and Clue. But he has also appeared in numerous TV series, including Better Call Saul and Grace & Frankie. In addition, McKean voices Grandpa Lou in the Rugrats reboot on Paramount+.